FWX

SKU: 14500
Label:
Metal Blade
Category:
Metal/Hard Rock
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New studio album from the prog metal forefathers. Sadly this will be Mark Zonder's swansong with the band. Musically speaking FWX seems to return back to the lighter progressive rock leanings of APSOG. I don't hear any of the harsher industrial overtones that crept into Disconnected.

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  • First album from this extreme metal band from Australia that is generating quite a buzz. Ne Obliviscaris mix clean and black metal vocals over a fairly symphonic/prog style that features quite a bit of lead violin. Plenty of guitar crunch to be heard through out as well. Definitely some of the early Opeth albums rubbed off on these guys but oddly classical and jazz elements creep in. As long as the black metal vox don't get to you I think you'll find the music quite captivating. Highly recommended with the noted reservations.
    $16.00
  • "In the mighty and fertile cold lands of Sweden in the early 2000, Markus Sigfridsson, a skilled young guitar player, with his best friend, Tobias Enbert behind the drum kit, created HARMONY, a Christian Power Metal band influenced by the great Scandinavian Neo-Classic tradition updated with a strong Melodic Prog-Metal tendency…The perfectly named HARMONY, is an ambitious group that was immediately warmly acclaimed by our community, a general positive consensus that occured right after the succesful release of their debut album, “Dreaming Awake”, in 2003, an impression that was even reinforced by its solid sucessor, "Chapter II: Aftermath", published in 2008.In late November 2014, it was the next crucial step in their career, their third offering, "Theatre of Redemption", was available. The big announcement was that it featured in the Lead Vocal role, one of the most reputed Metal singer from Sweden, the one and only LOST HORIZON’s former Daniel Heiman, who provides, as expected, a superb performance; very impressive in every section, displaying an amazing range and an outstanding emotional imperssonated feeling, and I had the privilege to review it with a good rating of 9 in result…"Theatre of Redemption" finally ends up really high, in my famous top list for 2014…They also encountered some kind of achievement with DARKWATER as a side-project; the duet of musicians is still very active and full of ressources!On May 22nd in Europe, and on May 26th in North America, the Swedish melodic Power Metal band HARMONY, will release a new work in EP format, entitled “Remembrance”…Once again published through Ulterium Records will features the legendary vocalist Daniel Heiman (ex LOST HORIZON/ex HEED/ now frontman for LAVETT) on vocals. This six track EP includes four re-recorded songs from the HARMONY's debut album, “Dreaming Awake”, as well as two brand-new songs.Of course, “Eternity”, “Dreaming Awake”, “Without You” or “She” are the reworked tracks; the running order is still the same, keeping the original successivity, while at the final slots, the songs ”In His Heart” and ”Feed My Hunger” are the newest compositions; you can count on the ultra precise sonic rendition in the purest Swedish Tradition as, like “Theatre of Redemption, “Remembrance" was mixed by the same glorious team at Studio Fredman (DREAM EVIL/HAMMERFALL/IN FLAMES).Although a little short, "Remembrance" is fully packed with the best exemples of "how Modern Power Metal has evolved" with orchestrated arrangments, a few ballads, sporadic acoustic elements and more subtle, understated interludes (“Without You”) and something sounding quite parallel to Progressive Rock (“She”), the whole is clearly well played and superbly produced with with a huge dynamic range .The epic side and the Metal straightness is still present, strategically added, giving a more accessible feel to the listener with song like the opening cut, “Eternity”.If the style of the early album is respected, obviously the new found technically and proficient focus has given another color to this EP, a challenging method crafted under a even more epic flavor, the title track and “She” were two of my favorites in their “Dreaming Awake”. Now maybe in concurrence with the quality of the recently added tracks, like the infectious chorus within ”In His Heart” and its numerous layers of harmonized vocals, or ”Feed My Hunger”…The second being the most emblematic; it fit into the existing stylistic musical realms and show the more Melodic way forward for what could be the band's future, with a sophisticated Eastern/Oriental chord-structures mixed with the refreshing harmonic excellence!Another warning coming from the North…Will you remember?" - Metal Temple
    $10.00
  • Second album from this Italian band that actually goes back to the 70s although they didn't record until recently.The roots of the band's sound is quite obvious.  Il Cerchio D'Oro are proponents of "Rock Progressive Italiano".  With the necessary Italian vocals in place, the music has a nice balance of keys and guitar but there are plenty of guests introducing flute, sax, mandolin.  It should be noted that these guests are sourced from classic bands The Trip, PFM, and Delirium.  Dig the 'tron?  Its here!  The synth work in particular is going to remind you of Flavio Premoli.  
    $16.00
  • "The successor to "Obsessions" (2011) was mixed and mastered by Jacob Hansen at Hansen studio in Denmark (Volbeat, Pretty Maids, Amaranthe a.m.m.)Beside band leader Samuel Arkan, the following vocalists and musicians contribute to"Fantasmagoria": Tom S. Englund (Evergrey) Henning Basse (ex-Metalium, ex-Sons Of Seasons, Mayan) Ida Haukland (Triosphere) Matt Marinelli (Borealis) Tezzi Persson (Between The Silence) Mike LePond (Symphony X) Léo Margarit (Pain Of Salvation) Julien Spreutels (Ethernity) Simone Mularoni (DGM)The quite unusual thing is that all these guests came to the Noise Factory studio (Belgium) to track down their parts. Nobody recorded his/her parts at home, like with some many other projects."I wanted the whole thing to get a real "band" feeling", Arkan says. "Therefore having all vocalists and musicians here was very important to me. We got to know each other better and better while spending time together. The new material sounds very fresh, dark, heavy, modern and "true" with "straight in the face" guitar riffs, intense voices and melodies, massive work on progressive atmospheres and orchestral parts. All the artists who participated in this album gave their soul to it, gave their best, they travelled deeper into sensitivity and sincerity. That's probably the best words which define this next album... sincerity & spontaneity! This album comes from the heart of each musician and vocalist who worked on it, and you can feel it when you listen to this new EPYSODE album."Compared to the debut "Obessions" the new material is a step forward in every way, with even better songwriting, a massive sound, powerful production and an intensity you rarely find these days.With the top notch vocalists that are gathered here (a.o. Evergrey’s Tom S. Englund, who is contributing to 5 songs) the "Fantasmagoria" concept story comes to life in a very intense and thrilling way, with lots of facets, expressive singing, deep & dark emotions. Englund’s duet with Ida Haukland (Triosphere) on the album’s title track especially gives goosebumps to the listener. There is also a plot to the "Obsessions" album and many fans of concepts will have their pure delight in discovering the story behind the story.The "Fantasmagoria" recordings took place from December 2012 to end of April 2013. Responsible for all keyboards, piano, arrangements was again Julien Spreutels, "my brother in crime, without him Epysode would not be as it is", Samuel says. "He did one more time an outstanding job and gives magic to Epysode, It's always a pleasure and very inspiring to work with him". "
    $15.00
  • Double live set recorded at the Rites Of Spring Festival in Gettysburg, PA on May 20, 2011. Clever name. Wonder how they came up with it?
    $18.00
  • "Danish hard rock group Pretty Maids has been around since the early 1980s, and was founded by guitarist Ken Hammer and singer Ronnie Atkins - both of whom are still very much part of the outfit. With numerous line-up changes over the years, Pandemonium was recorded by long-time bassist Kenn Jackson (now no longer with the band), and more recent additions Allan Tschicaja on drums and Morten Sandager on keyboards. Back in 1983 Pretty Maids already had a record deal and were opening concerts for the likes of Black Sabbath and Rainbow. By 1987 they had released their 3rd LP Future World, an album produced by Roger Glover (Deep Purple, Rainbow). The LP was something of a breakthrough in Europe, America and the Far East, and was followed over the years by numerous other albums, seldom with more than 2 or 3 years between each. Pandemonium, the band's 12th album, follows 2006's Wake up to the Real World. Produced by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat), the album has a big sound with tons of clarity and a monstrously big vibe. Every performance is first class; from the sleaze-tinged vocals to the epic symphonic keyboards. In fact it's bloody hard to criticise anything on the record. The only downside is that some of the songs are merely 'good', not outstanding. Still, an album full of good songs with the occasional amazing one is not to be sniffed at... Best moments? The rampant title track will leave you breathless. The chorus of the cleverly titled (think about it) 'I.N.V.U.' is sooo catchy, as is the chorus of the superb 'Little Drops Of Heaven'. The retro-keyboard-led 'Final Day of Innocence' has an understated beauty. The aggressive 'Cielo Drive' shows just how versatile these guys are. The Bon-Jovi-keyboards-meets-power-metal of 'It Comes at Night' is a beast. The Def Leppard X-era 'Old Enough to Know' is a nice slow ballad. Best of the lot though is the power-ballad 'Breathless'. It really is superb and deserves all the praise it has thrown at it. Definitely a song that'll be in the running for ballad of the year. All in all, this album only misses out on greatness by a mosquito's hair-width. What Pretty Maids have created is so close to brilliance it hurts. One thing is certain: you won't go far wrong buying this. Unless you like reggae. But the less said about that the better." - rockrealms.com
    $15.00
  • "Periphery have been an omnipresent force in the prog metalcore realm since their first album released in 2010 – band founder Misha Mansoor has served as producer on several of the genre’s albums, and the other members are all famous in their own right, whether it’s simply for their craft (Matt Halpern), their involvement in other projects (Spencer Sotelo, Mark Holcomb, Nolly Getgood), or just simply being the nephew of someone exceedingly famous (Jake Bowen). This makes whatever they decide to do extremely important, and the band’s decision to release a concept double album has created hype of hugelargic proportions. In my humble opinion, the band has delivered on all fronts, but not without some disappointments in the “could’ve been” area.Since their inception, Periphery have changed from a chugga-chug ambidjent project posting demos on the internet in the late 2000s to a full-fledged prog metal band with heavy elements of metalcore, post-hardcore, and pop music in general. If you weren’t onboard for “Periphery II”, “Juggernaut” likely won’t change your mind (unless your issues were relatively small), as it’s more of the same poppy atmosphere and less of the techy downtuned riffs, though god knows THOSE are still around. But there’s also a lot of style experimentation – jazz fusion, death metal, and various forms of electronica are all utilized on a semi-normal basis, and range from being seamlessly integrated into the music to being tacked on to the ends of songs like gluing a top-rate dildo onto an already particularly throbby penis. If this all sounds a bit schizophrenic, rest assured that the songcraft is, for the most part, tighter than it’s ever been. Singles from Alpha like “22 Faces” and “Alpha” itself show off Periphery’s pop prowess with choruses and hooks that refuse to leave your head, and complex riffs that are somehow just as ‘wormy as the vocals. And the songs on Omega are longer, more complex, and still manage to be as infectious as the most annoying of STDs – even the twelve minute sprawling title track that has more in common with the bombastic riffs of Periphery I has a shapely middle section that rivals even the hottest of…ugh, fuck it, done with the metaphors. It’s just insane. I cried when I heard it.And now onto what I don’t care for; first off, the decision to split the album into two parts was definitely well-informed from a marketing standpoint. Most people don’t go around listening to 80 minute records all day, myself included, and the supposedly delicate structure of a concept album also means that listening to Juggernaut by skipping to different songs would devalue the experience. So the band broke it into two records to make it seem more manageable to listen to in daily life. Another stated reason was so that newcomers to the band would be able to buy Alpha at a discounted price, decide if they liked it, and then purchase Omega if they were so inclined (music previewing doesn’t work like that anymore, but hey you can’t fault the band for trying to turn that into tangible record sales). The problem I have is that Omega isn’t really paced to be its own album, which makes releasing it on its own instead as simply as the second disc in a package a little pointless. It’s not like the excellent “The Afterman” double albums from Coheed and Cambria, which were each albums that worked in their own right. I realize that this is really just semantics, but I think calling Juggernaut both the third and fourth album from Periphery, while technically correct, is just disingenuous, and judging them fairly on their own as separate albums is impossible (which is why all reviews being published are including them together).Periphery has always had a unique way of pacing their albums, regularly including playful, sometimes relatively lengthy interludes between tracks. Juggernaut is no different, and these interludes are now occasionally used to seed songs that will appear later on the album, or provide callbacks to tracks already present. The transitions aren’t always elegant however, and can range from grin-inducing to head-scratching to just plain grating. Thankfully, the band isn’t going for the illusion that each song flows seamlessly into the next, at least no more than they were going for it on any of their previous albums, and it’s easy to get used to everything given multiple listens.Overall, Juggernaut is a dense album that’s going to take a myriad of listens to fully sink in, just like most of the band’s prior releases (I don’t think anyone is gonna argue that “Clear” has any depth that you would find after about the fifth listen or so, but hey hey that’s ok kay). But it’s also accessible on the surface with deceptively simple rhythms and poppy choruses, which draw you in to appreciate the deeper cuts. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes unique and thoughtful music in the post-hardcore, metalcore, and progressive metal genres, but I’d also recommend it to anyone ever, because this is my absolute favorite band and I think they’ve created a masterpiece. So take from that what you will, and then get the fuck out of here. The play button is calling my name." - iprobablyhateyourband.com
    $11.00
  • New progressive metal band from Rochester, NY incorporating a variety of influences. The lineup is a bit in flux but seems to focus on guitarist Tony Vinci who displays some remarkable chops. The music shows diversity and not just Dream Theater worship, although it's clear they are one of the bands influences. There is a modern alternative vibe as well. This is a good start - they need to solidify their lineup and gig their butts off. Promising....
    $10.00
  • Blazing second solo album, from 1977. This has some of the fastest guitarwork you will ever hear in your lifetime. DiMeola shows many facets to his playing touching upon pure electric fusion as well as gorgeous acoustic work. The acoustic duet with Paco De Lucia on "Mediterranean Sundance" is breathtaking. Jan Hammer and all the other stars play their nuts off here. Great.
    $5.00
  • This is the album that really broke the band in North America.  Hit after hit..."After years of writing hook-laden choruses and triumphantly buzzing riffs, this German band finally perfected the formula. A fine mix of poise and passion, Love at First Sting appeals to both angry metalheads and Top-40 aficionados." -- Jon Wiederhorn
    $5.00
  • Remastered limited edition of the third album from this British neoprog band. Comes with two bonus track cut in 2010.
    $16.00
  • Guitarist/vocalist Clay Withrow is the heart and soul behind Vangough.  He's made some fine albums in the past but this is clearly his best as you can tell that he's exerting more of his own vision.  The previous albums were fine slices of progressive metal, bu they were clearly influenced heavily by Pain Of Salvation.  While there is some of that early PoS feel, Between The Madness has more of Clay than Daniel.  Its very angst driven music - from the vocals to the grinding guitar solos.  This is one pissed off band.  Its a non-stop prog metal roller coaster ride.  BUY OR DIE!"Over the last two full-length albums leading up to this, the band’s most important release, one thing is strikingly clear: Vangough has been eating their Wheaties. Whereas the last album couldn't find its center of gravity despite merits and high replay value, "Between The Madness" bridges the gap between Vangough's left brain and right brain. Moreover, the band feels much more balanced with the addition of drummer Kyle Haws. Further, it sounds like mastermind Clay Withrow had pushed himself beyond his limits to expand the Vangough tone palate.On the “Acoustic Scars” EP, Withrow developed a vocal technique that finds full maturation on "Between The Madness:” the rage-sing. Almost a yell, but neither a scream nor a simple vocal fry and free of any pitch interference, Withrow's rage-sing makes the lyrical intent as clear as it can be. The album offers bile to many parties, lyrically, and puts the listener behind a sometimes uncomfortable but necessary first-person perspective: any other perspective simply would not do justice to the intent. Vangough has always been more effective at conveying feelings than telling stories, but never before had the songs had such a natural novel-like flow to them. All the while, Withrow peppers his versatile clean singing with elaborate layers of harmony and polyphony, making for subtly different listening experiences each time.The overall sound hasn't drastically changed, and even shows some musical nods to prior songs. In "Vaudeville Nation," a scathing condemnation of a track, a clever link is established with "Mannikin Parade" around 4:28. The main melody of the latter is re-introduced on guitars in a straight-played manner. Later in the song, a similar "Mannikin Parade" vocal melody emerges in the line "...and burn the circus to the ground," and up through the yell following it. Further, continuing the storyline started with "Road To Blighttown" on the “Acoustic Scars” EP, "Depths of Blighttown" adds a fitting dark and ominous chapter to the story.The added input from Haws and bassist Jeren Martin have made the songs seem more logical, acting as balancing forces. The drumming style of Haws is noticeably organized, nuanced, and thought-out and could be accurately categorized as a blend of the styles of Lamb of God's Chris Adler, Opeth-era Martin Lopez, and Pain of Salvation-era Johan Langell. The mixing job by Sterling Winfield is a stunning step forward for the band as well, and the drum sound is particularly remarkable for its bright, punchy, but balanced character. Lead guitarist Jay Gleason makes several shred-tastic appearances to accentuate the technicality of Vangough's instrumentation, while Justus Johnston and Jose Palacios make appearances on strings to further amplify the feeling of the songs and add a superb creep factor touching on Resident Evil levels at times.No song feels out of place or unessential, with "Infestation," "Schizophrenia," "Vaudeville Nation," "Useless," and "Corporatocracy" as highlights. The dynamic growth between “Kingdom of Ruin” and “Between The Madness” makes this album out to be Vangough's “Blackwater Park,” what many will no doubt cite as the band’s seminal record. Put simply, there has never been a better time to jump off of whatever progressive metal train you've been on and ride with Vangough. "Into the dark I take you," Withrow jabs at us. Make sure your seatbelts are securely fastened." - Metal Underground
    $11.00
  • "To avoid any lingering confusion right from the outset,  you may already be aware of this band because AudioPlastik began life under a different name or names to be more precise. Both Alpha Flood and Brave New Sky were trialled before the trio settled on the name AudioPlastik. Whatever the name though, it’s a musical collaboration which will more than prick the ears of fans of progressive rock or metal music. The trio is fronted none other than Dec Burke, the vocalist for Darwin’s Radio and Frost* as well as being a well thought of solo artist in his own right. Dec also plays the guitar and is joined by the impressive duo of Simon Andersson (Darkwater, ex-Pain Of Salvation) and Threshold’s keyboardist Richard West. Being a fan of all of the names mentioned in the preceding sentences, I have naturally been very excited to hear the final product ever since a debut album was announced to see the light of day early this year.The album is due out in the very near future and goes by the title of ‘In The Head Of A Maniac’. With a title like this, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the content of this record might be a bizarre, challenging or even a wild schizophrenic beast. However, you’d be wrong, at least to a certain extent anyway. This is progressive music and as such, it does blend many ideas into its collective whole. But it is far from being impenetrable or a difficult listen.To be honest, the most difficult thing is to accurately describe the musical direction on ‘In The Head of a Maniac’. In itself it’s an absorbing listen full of wondrous aspects, one that is instantly likeable but ever more addictive as the number of spins increases. But to be more exact in order to offer a worthwhile review? Ok…If I was to try and sum this album up in a few words, I’d say it’s an absorbing blend of melodic progressive rock, metal and pop with rich cinematic overtones.Dealing with the latter aspect first, the cinematic, symphonic flavour can be heard right from the outset via the relatively brief instrumental opening. This is Richard West at his best, creating a piece of music which is subtly dramatic, emotive and pure film soundtrack fodder. In fact, much the same can be said of the even more dramatic ‘Traveller’ which is equally as enthralling and which could easily fit a suspense or action thriller.That said, West’s stamp is all over each of the thirteen compositions, bringing a rich elegance to proceedings just like he does with Threshold. Whether it’s via more subtle layers of atmospheric synths or more in-your-face modern-sounding embellishments, of which there are several (‘John Doe’) it always fits the song perfectly, providing a foundation of real depth and richness upon which all else is built.Next there’s the guitar playing of Burke and Andersson which is actually surprisingly heavy. Occasionally it is reminiscent in tone of numerous djent artists, particularly when the riffs chug in step with a rumbling bass (also courtesy of Andersson) and powerful drumming. ‘It Matters So Much’ illustrates this perfectly and is also a track that also greatly benefits from a rare and decadent lead guitar solo. This being prog, naturally many of the riffs play around with interesting, complicated tempos and time signatures but they are never complex for the sake of it and never detract from the essence of the songs. A prime example being ‘The Sound Of Isolation’ which contains a riff which befuddles my brain but which works in and around the simpler aspects of the song.One of the biggest strengths on this record however is its melodic sensibility. I mentioned earlier about the pop influences and its in the choruses that this is most noticeable. Just about every song has a hook or a melody that’s memorable. Some are immediate and others take a bit longer to work into the psyche. Regardless, they are there and many of them, alongside those modern programmed flourishes, lend the music that more mainstream feel. ‘Leave Me Here’ and the beautiful ‘Now’ for example, might not be out of place on mainstream popular radio. Elsewhere, ‘Bulletproof’ offers one of the most gorgeous choruses I’ve heard in recent times, ironic given that it’s also one of the heavier, busier tracks that packs a lot of light and shade as well as apparently disparate elements into its relatively short length. Oh and then there’s the stunning closer, ‘Distant Skies’ which pushes ‘Bulletproof’ very close, almost beating it depending on my mood when I listen.Then, to top things off, you’ve got the vocals of Burke. Those familiar with his other work with Frost* or Darwin’s Radio will know exactly what to expect and he doesn’t disappoint. Burke has a tone that’s very melodic and almost soothing but which also has a slightly rough, gritty edge to it that I really like. It means that the vocal delivery can fit both the softer, more introspective parts but which can also do justice to the heavier moments that require something a bit edgier vocally.As you can probably tell, I’m completely enamoured by this album. Almost imperceptibly, it has burrowed into my head and my heart and it refuses to let go. If your tastes dictate that you enjoy music that is rich and varied, deep and thoughtful, beautiful and genuinely unique, look no further than ‘In The Mind Of A Maniac’ by AudioPlastic. You won’t be disappointed." - Man Of Much Metal  
    $16.00
  • "This forward thinking Philadelphia area thrash band was formed from the ashes of cult heroes Anvil Bitch. Their two classic demos (Dominance - 1988 and Look Where We Worship - 1990) have been compiled and remastered for this new collection. Resurrected is the first time this material has been released on CD. The enhanced content contains a full live set from 1989 and slide show of club flyers from the era. Also included - brand new interview with the band and full lyrics. "Even with Dominance’s late arrival to the thrash metal explosion, their music was adventurous and lyrical subject matter absolutely captivating. However, what truly set them apart from the countless bands hacking it out was the addition of samples to their music. It was extraordinarily innovative and I can still remember getting chills the first time I heard General Ursus’ voice declaring “The only good human is a dead human” (from Planet Of The Apes) in the opening few seconds of “Resurrected.” It was eerie, yet uplifting in a sense. When their Look Where We Worship demo was released, the thrash scene may have been on its way out, but Dominance were defiantly paving a new path and adding even more creative depth to their already impressive arsenal of songs. Though they weren’t necessarily reinventing the wheel their bold approach to thrash metal certainly changed my world, forever." Matt of KILLWHITNEYDEAD"
    $12.00